Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Move

Ok so I got a few questions from a friend and I wanted to answer them on the blog in case I had other readers who were interested in the living situations here.
Since Iv lived here over the last year we have moved twice. We are renting because of a few reasons. First of we didn't and don't want to buy anywhere here until we know where we are happy and think we can raise our family. When I first came I was skeptical because the other areas of Mexico I had been to visit I didn't like and couldn't imagine my family there. We now know we love Tepa and this area of Mexico and most likely will buy here. But we need to wait for the money. Apparently the gov has a program where if you work for a certain amount of time they give you points towards getting a loan for a house. From what I understand we are about 6-9 months from being eligible. When we are we will start looking we are in no rush to buy. I'm a little skiddish after having to give up on my home in the states.
Our first apartment was actually pretty big and very nice. We had a lot of counter space and cabinets in the kitchen, there was a large middle area between the kitchen and the living room where we kept our book shelf and our daughters toys. And the living room was big enough for 2 small and one regular size couch, our computer desk and the TV. The bathroom had a cabinet under the sink and the toilet had a seat on it (yes this is important). We also had the whole roof to ourselves. I must admit this was a lot of space for our little family but it was a nice transition for me from the large 4 bedroom house I had moved from. This apartment was on the third floor and on the edge of town. We liked how quiet it was but being on the edge of town means your next to crops and therefore pooo. Yes the lovely smell of natural fertilizer. There also was nowhere close we could walk to except a tienda which I quickly became friends with the workers. Well this apartment we were paying 2,000p for and we quickly realized on my husbands income that we would burn through our savings very quickly if we didn't find something cheaper. So we started the search. Over and over we would hear, "Its rented out already we just haven't taken the sigh down." And a lot of places just didn't have what we needed like parking space. Finally we found the second apartment we lived in. This one was also on the third floor and on the bottom floor was a bar. But it was only 1600p a month and we knew we could do that. It also had tons of room on the street for parking and was a lot closer to my husbands job. He could now walk to work if we needed him to. It was only 2 blocks for 2 different parks, and within walking distance to just about any type of store I might need. The apartment consisted of one room that was the size of our bedrooms in the other one that had a sink in it with a small set of cabnets, 2 md size bedrooms with large dome shaped doors in each bedroom, a bathroom with no cabinets and no toilet seat, and a tiny laundry area which I had to walk sideways through one area because my hips wouldn't fit. So you can see the good and the bad. That move to be honest was complete hell. My husband wasn't able to get off work so we moved over 3 or 4 days in the evenings. Oh and I was huge prego so just about anything was bad for me at that point especially living with my stuff in 2 houses and in boxes. But we made it and got comfy. It didn't take long for the bar to drive us nutzo. It was one of those bars that plays only old Mexican music and on top of that had a karaoke machine. Oh when we first moved in there was also a tienda on the lower level. this was great because I could run down when the girls were napping. The owner has a son the age of my oldest daughter and a new baby that was born 3 weeks before ours. So we got to know them pretty quick, kids do that. Anyway this store moved around the block and we still kept it as our main tienda.
Soon enough the store owner informed us that he had an apartment for rent above his store. This is the one we just moved into. Its a tiny bit small sq footage wise but is shaped different and is actually more open. I have more counter space, but no cabinets under or above the counter. This is normal here and a lot of people just hang up a curtain type of thing under the counter and use that space for storage. I'm using it for storage but not sure I care to hang a curtain. The roof is ours again for laundry and play time. We do share it with the neighbors but they are a nice couple maybe a little younger than me. This one cost about 1700p and is on the 2nd floor. Yes we are finally coming down in the world. ;) It is only around the block from the other one so we still have the benefit of the parks and stores close by. We are still on a busy road but the traffic doesn't bother me I lived in the city and am use to sleeping through it. The bathroom is a tad bit smaller but the bin we use for the 3yr olds (yes she turns 3 in a couple weeks) bath fits and the bathroom already had a toilet seat. ;) No cabinets but that's ok we already had shelves from the last apartment. So I may be leaving something important out about the apartments and such here in Mexico if you notice as always please comment and add what you know or ask what you want to know.
The major difference her in the living quarters bought or rented is that there is no carpet, hardly any cabinet space, usually no closets, sometimes no toilet seats (but can be bought for like 10p) and usually your laundry area is somewhere open to the outside. Funny I guess I could have just put that last paragraph and not all the other jaz. lol

Babies US papers

Ok so there are a couple things you must get for your child that is born in another country. The first is the Consular Reports Of Birth Abroad (CRBA) and the other is only necessary if you plan to travel back to the US with your child which is their passport. The link below is what we used to find out what all papers we needed.
From their suggestions we gathered:
prescriptions from our dr
Our Doctors records of our prenatal care which is just his notes from each visit typed on a paper with his letter head on it
The babies certificate of birth (certificado de nacimineto)
Our certified copy of our US marriage lic
The babies Mexican birth cirtificate
My Social Security Statement
The print off of our appointment page from the website stated above which I will talk more of in a min.
Both application forms from the website above

The babies armband from the hospital
a copy of my highschool and nursing school diplomas
The hospital bills
picture of me prego, at the hospital, and with the baby after she was born
Our Mexican marriage lic
The babies vacination record and booklet from the segudo
And the DVD of our ultrasounds

After gathering all this stuff up we went on the same website above and made our appoint. This is pretty simple but they didn't have any appointments available for almost a month. So we picked the first one. Also all the appointments Im pretty sure are early, the latest one available on the day we picked was 830am.
So we got up on June 24th at 5am and headed to Guadalajara. By the time we found the place and our parking garage we litteraly got there right on time. We walked up to the window with the speaker box and told them why we were there. They asked for our piece of paper showing our appointment and we presented it. Now you have to go in almost empty handed so we left everything (including my husbands belt) in the truck. If you cant make it through the air port with it you cant take it into the consulate (long story short). You also can not take any electronic devises including your cell phone. Once we get past the security check and inside a guy give us a number and tells us our number will be called. At this point and still Im not sure what the appointment was all about, I assume its so they dont have to many people at one day but then why give times. Anyway shortly after we called to a window and tell here why we are there. She then asks for the items that are in italics above. She was extreamly rude and short with us. She says that my social earnings statement is no good without W2's (this makes no since to me) and that I should have printed pictures of the ultrasound off of the DVD. I then explained to her that that is impossible for us. How on earth do you print pictures off of a DVD, our computer wont even play it, we have to play it on a TV. She says she doesn't think those to things will pass but she will take them anyway. Oh and I had to refill out the paper that tells of you physical location for your entire life. I thought it meant where I had lived and didn't include the visits to Mexico. The other times I had to fill this out we had an immigration lawyer in the states who helped us. The rude lady then tells me to go to the receiving window and pay for our stuff. We paid I think it was 960p for the CRBA and 1600 for the pass port. When we went to pay for the CRBA and I realized she didn't charge me for the passport I asked her about this. She said the CRBA has to be approved first then you pay for the passport. I also had to fill out a different form for the passport apparently the one I got online was wrong. But this lady was very nice and patient with me, she even whited out some stuff when I filled it out wrong. Something the website didn't say is that you have to have your passport photos, she said that my husband could go out with the baby and have them taken and come back as quick as he could. That the interview could go on with out him if he wasn't back in time but that the interviewer did have to at least see the baby. So Issac takes the paper that shows we had an appointment, the requirements for the photos and the baby and goes to get the pictures. This isn't hard to find anywhere you walk with in a couple blocks of the consulate you have people telling you they can do your photos for you. This took him about 20 min and when he got back we still had about another 30min to wait until we were called. The lady that did our interview was pleasant and helpful. We had to put up our right hands and swear that what we were telling her was the truth. (I find this funny because now days there is no bible so what the heck is the point in putting up your right hand). She asked if she could have permission to look up my work history using my social security number so that I didn't have to provide w2s. Well of course I said. Then she leaves for like 2 min and comes back with a couple pages of my complete work history. (kinda freaky if you ask me, but hey its the US gov right?)She tells me to send my husband over to pay for the passport and he goes. She explains that she is kinda rushing through my "interview" because she has a meeting in 2 min. Wow did I get lucky, I love to be rushed through in situations like this. Then she gives me all my papers back after checking to be sure she made copies of all of it. She also gave us two little slips of paper that had numbers on them. She told us to go to the MultiPac desk that was in the same room and give her our information. We litteraly just moved this weekend so we asked if we could pick up the papers at the office in Tepa, because we didn't know our address yet. Yes this would be fine and we should have our babies papers in our hands in a couple weeks.
Wheww now that's done, both my babies are officially duel citizens. No more paper work needing to be done until Dec when I need to renew my FM2.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Cricket

As best I can remember this is what it looked like. One night we heard one out in our laundry area and my husband went out and sprayed everywhere because he couldn't find it. Well the next morning I had a dazed half drugged cricket in my kitchen. Then the next day I found something that looked similar to the one above on my wall. To me it didn't look like a cricket but I could tell it was not a roach. So what was it. I expressed this to my husband and he said "what makes you think its not a cricket?" Well I said it didn't have big pointing up back legs. He then gave me that smile like, oh your so cute sometimes. (this ticks me off sometimes lol) and says "Honey not all crickets have big pointy up legs." "Really, are you sure." I say. So I look it up online and sure enough I find lots of pictures of bugs that I don't think look like crickets but that's what they say they are. Ok fine....
So now Im thinking what the heck is a cricket if it doesn't have big pointy up legs... Right? So I pulled a Bob and looked up the definition (hee hee) and here it is.

crick·et 1 (krkt)
Any of various insects of the family Gryllidae, having long antennae and legs adapted for leaping. The males of many species produce a shrill chirping sound by rubbing the front wings together.

Well my bug had long antennae and I guess long legs adapted for leaping but you know I killed and disposed before I got that good of a look. Next time I think I will examine a bit longer.


Monday, June 15, 2009


I know I have in the past posted about our struggles with going to church here in Mexico. A couple months ago we decided to have church at home by ourselves, for a few different reasons which I wont restate. Well my husband finally got a Sunday off so we decided to go to the early service, (11am). We didn't go until around noon because the music is really loud for the baby. As par for the course we were kissed and our hand shook as we came in. The pastor seemed excited to see we had come back and wrote down where out new apartment is. (although we have never been visited even when they did know where our apartment was, we even gave like three different people at church our phone numbers) They had someone to care for the children so that was a relief. But even with out Alana the service was slightly stressful. My husband has a bit of trouble keeping up with the pastor in his translating, and sometimes just forgets to translate. So I get a disjointed sermon that sometimes doesn't make any sense. Throughout the 2 hour service my husband and I both went through feelings of frustration. But all through the service I kept feeling that no matter what I got out of the service and no matter how frustrating it was, that God expects me to be persistent and try to meet him in his House, as well as in mine. So even though I was almost in tears on the way home I know that we need to try to go to a service each week. Even if it is the evening service and my daughter is out past bedtime. AHHH Church has never been so hard for me. When I first started going back to church at the age of 21 or so I was looked at sideways from everyone in the room. They all knew what I had been doing over the last few years but I didn't care, I knew I was there for God and they didn't matter to me. Then when I moved to St. Louis going to churches where no one knew me and no one talked to me didn't matter either because again I knew I was there for God. But this....
I get almost nothing out of the services, people give us dirty looks because they think my husbands translating is us talking in the middle of service, and no one wants to talk to the me because it takes a lot of effort, and who has time for that.
But this is what I feel the Lord is wanting me to endure. I have no idea what he has in store for us but I know that if we pass through this he will show us. He always does. So for those of you readers who are praying people please pray for us to have the strength and patience we need to go every week.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


I have been motivated by most resent reader to post some of my craft photos. Im actually very lazy about resizing photos and putting them on here. As if you haven't noticed. So here are the crafts Iv made over the last 6 months or so.

This last picture is actually the most recent. I made this horse tonight actually. My daughter has been riding this broken stick around the last week calling it a horse. So I made it one. The little box its on is a box I decorated for the babies things that are in the living room, and the little book it one that I made to sit in front of the baby. The rest of these are mostly things I made for the baby. The blue towel and the yellow towel are for my 2 year old. The boppy has come in handy. Although it looks not so much like the ones that you buy I love it. Its longer and thinner on the ends and it wraps around her just perfect.

Friday, June 12, 2009


We got Joslins first set of shots, and as to be expected it was a whooper of a day. My husbands boss agreed to let him have a long lunch for one day so we could go get them done. By the time he had gotten lunch my 2 year old was taking a nap. We discussed it and he decided he would be the one to bring Joslin to get her shots. Oh boy I thought, God be with him (I was truly praying). You see my husband goes into almost fits of rage when I or my daughters get the slightest bit hurt. He seriously has to leave the room and calm himself down. I find this slightly amusing, maybe its my insensitivity to catastrophe. I tend to always stay calm analyze and find out what I need to do. He on the other hand is of no use when pain is happening to one he loves. Well in a way, and as usual not the way I wanted God answered my prayers. They told Issac they were not doing vaccines that day and he would have to bring her back tomorrow. Well there was no way for him to get an extra lunch break two days in a row. So now the wheels were turning. The one person we knew would watch Alana was out of town. My husbands mom stays at his grandmas (which is about 20min from us) for three months at a time and helps to run a shop (long story).
My husband says, "Ill ask my mom to come help you." I cringe but say, "Sounds great." I mean I have no other choice right? I know this post is about my experience with the health system but because his mom was a major (MAJOR) part of the day I need to explain a little first.
Mother in laws are suppose to be these great horrors right? Well mine isn't. She is a wonderful Christian women who is extremely thankful that I left the states to live with her son (and of course her granddaughters also). But.... Oh yes the big BUT....
Every since I have moved her she has treated me like I know nothing of Mexico. Seriously we will have conversations where I will say something. She will repeat to be sure she understands what IM saying, meanwhile Im nodding my head in approval. And she says, "No" Flat out refusing that I could possibly be right. Ok enough ranting sorry.
So there are two places in which you can go to get these vaccines. At the time my husband and I thought that only one of these places were for vaccines and the other was for doctor appointments. Some misguided person told my husband this. After running a couple errands down town I decided we could walk to get the vaccines because it was only a couple blocks from down town. His mom asked someone which street we should take to get there. Well after walking 7-8 blocks and me saying over and over we were going the wrong way and to the wrong clinic, I finally broke down and called my husband. I hated to do it I felt like I was a kid again and tattling on an older sibling. But he was as upset as I that his mom would not listen to me. She then told him that they do the vaccines at both places, why she couldn't tell me this I still do not know. So we finally get there and she goes in first to be sure they would do the vaccines.
They said they did and we went in to the desk we were lead to. We were third in line, after one went in we were only second in line. Then a nurse came out and asked if we were there for vaccines. We said yes and she told us we needed to giver our vaccination card to some nurses that were at another desk. I did and she told me they would call us when they were ready. Then I watched her put our card under like 3 other cards. Crap now were 4th in line. The one girl who was in the first line ahead of us must have known something we didn't because she didn't move. And was taken in to get her babies shots. Then someone else came and stood their and went in and got her shots. So had we stayed there we would be done now. Were we done, nope still needed to wait for 2 more people to go before us. His mom rolled her eyes obviously upset. I asked her why that nurse told us to go to the other line. She said it was because she didn't want to work. That nurse is lucky I don't know enough Spanish to tell her what I thought of what she did.
Finally we were called to the desk and I was told to sit down with the baby. One of the nurses took my baby to the other side of the room and weighed and measured her. They then looked at her vaccination card and said that since it was her first time getting vaccinations she should really be at the other desk. I looked at them like, "Im not moving and you will give her her shots, or I will do it myself." Then they looked at Issacs mom and she explained what had happened up till now. They went to the other desk and asked if they could do the shots and apparently the answer was yes. While writing the measurements on her card they informed me that she was within a high percentage for her age. Wow some teaching being done, I was excited to see this. I was dying to talk to them about being a nurse here in Mexico but I was waiting also to see how much teaching they would do. She went on to explain each vaccine my baby would get, why she would get it, and the possible side affects and how to treat those side affects. Whooo hoooo. Great job I was thinking. Because most medical terms are similar in Spanish and English I was keeping up quite well. I then explained to them the reason I understood so well was that I was a nurse.
Now here is an interesting tid bit and I now understand why we got sent to their desk by the "working nurse" I asked them how they liked working here and they shook their heads and said oh no not working but doing our "servicio gratis"...
"WHAT..." I said and looked astonished, "Gratis"
They went on to explain that every nurse in Mexico has to do one year of service for free at a gov facility after graduating. Wow I though I cant imagine if that were to happen in the states. We would really have a nursing shortage then.
We got there at 11am and left around 1pm. Not to bad its about how long I had to wait at the dr. office in the states with my first baby.
The next appointment my husband and I have decided to leave our 2yr old with a friend and IM going by myself with the baby. That should be exciting.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

For anyone who loves to read.

I love to read it relaxes me. I also love to get into a new world now and again. I really get into books. But new books especially in English are just to expensive down here, I can't afford them.
Well thanks to an e-mail buddy of mine I have been introduced to a site called This site is so cool the only thing missing is more English books in Mexico. Im kinda hoping by putting this out there to the blogers in Mexico maybe some of you are readers and would be interested in trading books via this site (or not via the site)
Here is the gist of the site. It goes by a point system, you get 1/10th a point for every book title you enter. When you send a book to someone in your country you get 1 point if you send outside the country you get 3 points. You pay for the shipping to send the book. So this person is getting a book virtually free. Then you can order or ask for a one book for every 1 point you get, unless its outside of your country then you use up 2points. So although you send a book to someone free of charge to them you get one in return. You can either reenter the books after you get them and read them or you can keep them its up to you. Due to not having a lot of money I'm kinda restricted to sending and receiving from Mexico more or less, and there is not a lot of English books posted, although there are some. So here is the invitation for all you expats to check out the site. Let me know what you think even if you decide not to join.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

need ideas please

Ok so my 2yr olds 3rd birthday is in July. I am doing a princess theme because shes crazy for princesses. I made the banner then realized I did it in English. I refuse to change it although I will get a little flack from my husbands family. (they'll get over it) But I would like to do the invitations in Spanish. I have been searching the web to find a lay out of some kind. So here is what I need either a translation of something similar to what I will write here in a min or a website that has examples of invitations in Spanish. My plan is to make them look like a royal scroll with a ribbon tied around it. I want them to say something to the affect of:

Princess Alana requests your appearance to her royal ball on the 11th of July.
Or something like what is at the following link, I could make these easy enough with word or excel but I need the wording.
or something like that

Anyway Im open for ideas.
The main princess will be Ariel, shes Alanas favorite.